21 Years Since O.J. –  Has Anything Changed?

April 22, 2016  |  Television

The anthology series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” that recently ended on FX is riveting television. I just finished watching and, despite the fact that I knew exactly how it was going to end, I couldn’t miss a moment (and by that, I mean I couldn’t stop binge-watching on my DVR). Part of my fascination…

Jackie Robinson

Celebrating Jackie Robinson Day

April 14, 2016  |  Television

The mention of Tax Day does not inspire many Americans. But did you know that April 15th is also Jackie Robinson Day — the annual celebration of the first black baseball player to play for a Major League Baseball team, the Brooklyn (now Los Angeles) Dodgers? Since 2004, MLB has been celebrating Jackie Robinson every…

A black woman bandages a man's back injuries from being whipped.

Shifting the Perspective on the Story of Slavery

April 7, 2016  |  Television

American slavery has been depicted in film and on TV nearly as long as the medium has been in existence. Starting in 1915 with D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” through to 1977 with television’s “Roots” and as recent as 2013 with the Academy Award winning Best Picture “12 Years A Slave,” audiences are very…

From YouTube to Big Tube

April 1, 2016  |  Television

We’ve been hearing for awhile now that digital streaming platforms are the future of TV and looking at the stats in Deloitte’s 10th annual Digital Democracy Survey, it’s safe to say the future has arrived. Close to half of all Americans subscribe to Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, and people under age 25 spend more time…

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SXSW Films You Can’t Miss

March 25, 2016  |  Film Festivals

SXSW keynote speaker, actor, and activist Ellen Page captured the sentiment about inclusion and representation the industry is facing by saying, “People need to have opportunity, that’s what is going to make the whole industry grow and blossom.” Here are some films that plant those seeds. Tower *Grand Jury Prize Winner Look for: gun safety,…

Anti-Fracking protestors

Hollywood Re-Acts to the Frack Attacks

March 17, 2016

Proponents of fracking believe that the hazardous extraction process is a wonderful contribution to the economy and energy independence – as long as they don’t have to live near it, drink tainted water, or be subjected to polluted air and other health threats. Unfortunately, many residents of LA cannot escape the impacts of fracking. So…

Man looks out over mountain edge at dusk

From ‘The Revenant’ to the Strong Voices of Indigenous Peoples

February 25, 2016

I applaud Leo for serving as an ally by using his spotlight to elevate an important cause. I’d also like to use his words as an opportunity to focus on the important communications work and activism of indigenous peoples themselves — centering their perspective, standing up for their lands, their rights, and protecting the environment…

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AndACTION at frank

February 24, 2016  |  Activism

At  frank, project director Chris Dzialo will be giving a talk about the intersection of entertainment media and causes, and how stories can be used to inspire social change. This year frank is presenting Changeville, a film, music and virtual reality festival around stories that inspire. Among the films being shown will be 3 ½ Minutes, 10…

Sundance Film Festival Marqee

2016 Sundance Films Headed to a Theater Near You (and Streaming too!)

February 1, 2016  |  Film Festivals

Topics represented include racism, opportunity access, alcoholism and drug abuse, cancer, LGBT rights, feminism, freedom of speech, and dozens of others. Many of these films have already been acquired to screen at your favorite local theater, as well as streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. That means you’ll get a chance to experience them for…

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Making a Murderer: True Crime Storytelling Meets the Criminal Justice System

January 26, 2016  |  Television

“Law and Order’s” famous “DUN-DUN” intro takes me back to the countless marathons I’ve binged on throughout the years. The opening voiceover that kicks off every episode is even more unforgettable and, admittedly, I can recite it word by word: “In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important…